Behavioral Standards Committee, Greek Judicial Committees and Boards Operating Policies and Procedures

General Statement of Policies and Procedures

These policies and procedures will apply when a student or student organization is referred by the dean of students or designee to the Behavioral Standards Committee or a Greek Judicial Board for an alleged infraction of the Code, rules and regulations, federal, state, and local laws, or on appeal by a student of an adverse decision of a faculty member regarding disruptive behavior in the classroom which directly affects the student in his or her capacity to continue in class. (Refer to Classroom Disruptions and Steps Toward Redress.) A student or student organization is entitled to a written notice and a formal hearing unless the matter is disposed of under the rules for informal/administrative adjudication. Disciplinary proceedings are not to be construed as judicial trials, but care shall be taken to comply as fully as possible with the spirit and intent of the procedural safeguards and fundamentals of fair play set forth herein.

Service of Notice and Decision

Each student will be responsible for maintaining a current mailing address on file with the Office of Records and Registration. Failure by the student to have his or her current mailing address on record with the university shall not be construed to invalidate such notice. For services of a statement of charge(s) and action(s) taken, copies will be served by certified or registered mail to the student’s address as listed with the Office of Records and Registration. The day after certified mailing will be considered the first day of the counting period for a minimum five (5) day notification requirement of the date set for hearing and the maximum fifteen (15) day requirement for hearing the case.

Quorum

A quorum of the Behavioral Standards Committee will consist of no less than four (4) members, to include the chairperson, and at least one (1) student and one (1) faculty member. The quorums for the Greek judicial committees are stipulated in the bylaws and operating policies of the governing bodies.

Committee Chairperson

The chairperson of the committee will be the administrative officer of the committee. The Office of the Dean of Students will provide secretarial assistance to the chairperson. The chairperson will convene the committee to hear cases; preside at hearings; prepare and mail notices and decisions (pre-hearing and post-hearing information forms and letters); schedule meeting rooms, and make arrangements for tape recorders and tapes; make available to the committee pertinent written documents, records, and materials; notify the accused, accuser, dean of students or designee, and witnesses of the date, time, and place of the hearing; see that all involved parties, i.e., accused, accuser, dean, etc., receive a summary of the hearing; ensure that students receive a copy of the rights and privileges outlined in the section of the Code; maintain hearing records and files until deadlines for appeals have expired; and return records and hearing tapes to the dean of students for appropriate action and safekeeping.

Committee Recorder

The chairperson may serve as the recorder of the committee or appoint a recorder for each hearing. The recorder shall keep an accurate taped record of the committee’s disciplinary proceedings, may prepare a summary of the hearing, and submit the summary and the hearing tape to the chairperson within one (1) class day of the hearing. The recorder may assist the chairperson on request with assigned duties, e.g., scheduling a meeting room, arranging for a tape recorder, tape, etc.

Hearings

The hearing(s) will be closed except to those involved unless the student(s) or student organization requests that it be open to members of the university community.

Committee Members Excused and Vacancies

(Not applicable to Greek Judicial Committees)

  1. Any member of the committee who is involved or associated with a case being considered will excuse or disqualify himself or herself because of a personal bias.
  2. Should a committee member be unable to hear a particular case, for any reason, one of the alternates shall be appointed by the chairperson to serve for the course of the case.
  3. Should the committee be involved in a case when the absent member returns, the alternate member shall continue as a member of the committee in all sessions dealing with that case until it is concluded. The returning member shall resume membership on the committee in any new cases brought before the committee. A member must be present at all hearings to be eligible to vote.
  4. Should any member of the committee be unable, for any reason, to complete a term for which he or she has been appointed, one of the alternates shall fill the balance of the term.
  5. Resignations shall be submitted in writing to the chairperson of the committee and the dean of students. The chairperson shall then inform the president of the University Assembly or the SGA president of a vacancy, request the appointment of one of the alternates to fill the position, and request the appointment of a second alternate to fill the vacant alternate position until the next appointment.
  6. Either party to a hearing may request of the chairperson in writing that any member or members of the committee be excluded from consideration of the case. Such a request must be for cause and be brought to the chairperson’s attention at least five (5) class days before the hearing. It shall take a majority vote of the committee to disqualify a member from consideration of a case. If a member is disqualified by the committee for consideration of a case, the chairperson shall appoint an alternate as a replacement. If the disqualified member is the chairperson of the committee, the committee shall elect a chairperson for the hearing of that particular case.
Student Rights and Privileges

(Accuser and/or Accused)

  1. Receive a written charge statement to include the nature and the specific charge(s) at least five (5) class days before the hearing.
  2. Be present at the hearing and have an opportunity to speak in his or her own defense and to present evidence.
  3. Receive names of witness(es) and persons testifying against him or her.
  4. Present witness(es), question university witness(es) and persons testifying against him or her, and to review statements submitted.
  5. Review the information to be submitted at the hearing in advance to prepare a defense.
  6. Present a version of the facts through personal and written statements or witnesses or persons testifying.
  7. Appear alone at the hearing or bring up to two (2) non-participating representatives of his or her choice. (For example, this maybe faculty, staff, student, legal counsel, or other person.)  In original hearing procedures, such as hearings held before the Behavioral Standards Committee , non-participating representatives may only advise the student but may not  question witnesses or present statements. The committee may retain university legal counsel to furnish advice in such cases.
  8. Have a determination of the facts of the case based solely on information presented at the hearing by the authority that holds the meeting.
  9. Be informed in writing of the findings and determination of the case and the reason(s) for the decision and any sanctions imposed.
  10. Receive a copy of the hearing tape made at his or her expense.
  11. Right to petition for appeal. (Refer to Appeal Procedures and Instructions for University Judicial Appeals Committee (UJAC), and Appeals to the Chancellor.)
    • Student has the option of being represented during the appeal process by a licensed attorney or non-attorney advocate at the student’s expense and the student has received suspension or expulsion. Attorney or non-attorney participants may fully participate during appeal proceedings.

Procedures

  1. When the dean of students or designee determines the case will be referred to the committee, he or she shall initiate disciplinary proceedings by notifying the chairperson in writing that a case is being referred to the committee for action and shall forward the Pre-hearing Information Form, document(s), report(s), and record(s) obtained during the investigation to the chairperson of the committee.
  2. The chairperson, on receiving a written appeal or referral from the dean of students or designee, should convene the committee within fifteen (15) class days, university holidays excluded, to determine the violation or non-violation of the student or student organization and determine the sanction if the student or student organization is found in violation.
  3. The committee should hear this case within fifteen (15) class days of the time of referral. The determination of the date, time, and place of the hearing will include consideration of the class and work schedules of the parties involved but in the interest of fairness, reasonable speed will be the watchword. The accused is encouraged to attend the hearing to present his or her version of the incident and to exercise his or her student rights and privileges.
  4. The accused, accuser(s), dean of students or  designee will be notified in writing by pre-hearing form or letter, at least five (5) class days in advance of the date, time, and place of the hearing; the nature of the violation and specific charge(s); name of the committee hearing the case; date of referral or appeal; names of university witnesses or persons testifying against the accused; evidence to be presented; and name of the accuser(s). They should complete and sign the Pre-Hearing Information Form and return it to the chairperson of the committee within three (3) class days of receipt.
  5. The chairperson will notify in writing university witnesses or persons testifying against the accused of the date, time, and place of the hearing within five (5) class days, if possible. The accused will notify his or her witnesses, persons testifying on his or her behalf, and two (2) representatives of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The accused will notify the chairperson in writing within three (3) class days prior to the hearing of the names of witnesses, persons testifying on his or her behalf, and the two (2) representatives. If the accused intends to bring legal counsel to the hearing (refer to Statement of Rights and Privileges), he or she will notify the chairperson of the name of the legal counsel within three (3) class days of the hearing.
  6. Once the date, time, and place of the hearing have been established, the accused duly notified, and a committee quorum convened, the hearing will be held even though the accused, his or her personal representatives, or any of them fail to appear. However, if in the opinion of the chairperson there is just cause for delay, the chairperson may reschedule the hearing for a later date. For the purpose of this section, “just cause” means any circumstance that would prevent the student from receiving a fair hearing. The delay should be no longer than one (1) week.
  7. Written statements by witnesses or persons testifying should not be allowed in lieu of personal appearance except in rare instances or unusual circumstances.
  8. When decision has been reached, the chairperson will notify in writing (form or letter) within three (3) class days of the hearing, the accused, dean of students or designee, and accuser of the findings and determination of the case, reasons for the decision, and any disciplinary sanction. The accused shall complete and sign the form within three (3) class days of receipt and return the form to the chairperson. The involved parties will receive a copy of the appeal procedures and be notified that they may have a copy made of the hearing tape at their expense.
  9. If the sanction imposed is suspension or expulsion, the chairperson shall immediately notify the vice chancellor of student affairs, vice chancellor/provost, and chancellor of the decision, reasons for the decision, sanction imposed, and that all parties have been notified of their rights to petition for appeal within the established guidelines for appeal.
  10. The chairperson shall maintain all records until the appeal deadline has expired. He or she shall then forward all records to the dean of students for filing and appropriate administrative action.

Conduct of Hearing

  1. The chairperson shall preside at the hearing; call the hearing to order; call the roll of the committee members in attendance; ascertain the presence or absence of the student(s) charged with the violation; ascertain the presence of the dean of students, designee, or accuser, the representatives of the accused and legal counsel if applicable; read the notice of charge(s) by the accuser(s); report any continuance requested or granted and any special or extraordinary procedure(s) to be employed during the hearing; and inform the committee members and those involved in the hearing that the hearing is being taped.
  2. Opening statements:
    1. The dean of students, designee, or accuser shall make opening remarks outlining the general nature of the case and testify to any facts the investigation has revealed.
    2. The accused may make a statement to the committee about the charge(s) at this time or at the conclusion of the university’s presentation.
  3. University evidence:
    1. University witnesses or persons testifying against the accused are to be called and identified or their written report(s) of evidence introduced as appropriate.
    2. The committee may question witnesses at any time.
    3. The accused may examine evidence presented to the committee against him or her.
    4. The accused may question witnesses present or persons testifying against him or her.
    5. The accused may consult his or her representative or legal counsel during the hearing.
  4. Accused evidence:
    1. Witnesses or persons testifying on behalf of the accused are to be called and identified; written reports of evidence will be introduced as appropriate.
    2. The committee may question the witnesses or person(s) testifying on behalf of the accused at any time.
    3. The accused may examine evidence presented to the committee on behalf of the accused.
  5. Rebuttal of evidence: The committee may permit the accuser or the accused to offer any matter in rebuttal of the other’s presentation.
  6. Rights of committee: The committee shall have the right:
    1. In cases involving more than one (1) student which arise out of the same transaction or occurrence to hear such cases together, but in that event shall make separate findings and determinations for each student.
    2. To permit a stipulation of facts by the dean of students, designee, or accuser and the accused involved.
    3. To permit the incorporation in the record by a reference of any document, affidavit, or other thing produced and desired in the record by the university or the accused.
    4. To question witnesses or other evidence introduced by either the university, accuser, or accused at any time.
    5. To hear from the dean of students or designee about dispositions made in similar cases and any dispositions offered to the student(s) appearing before the committee.
    6. To call additional witnesses or require additional investigation.
    7. To dismiss any action at any time or permit informal disposition as otherwise provided.
    8. To permit or require at any time amendment of the Notice of Hearing to include new or additional matters which may come to the attention of the committee before final determination of the case provided that the committee shall grant to the dean of students or designee, accuser, and accused such time as the committee may determine reasonable under the circumstances to answer or explain the additional matters.
    9. To dismiss any person from the hearing who interferes with or obstructs the hearing or fails to abide by the ruling of the chairperson or the committee.
    10. To hear or not hear such witnesses or persons testifying and evidence as it may deem relevant and fair, including but not limited to any information made a part of the original report.
  7. Determination of the committee: The committee shall then make its finding(s) and determination(s) in executive session(s) out of the presence of the dean of students or designee, accuser, and accused, and on the sanction, if any, to be imposed. No sanction shall be imposed on the accused unless the evidence that the accused has committed the violation reasonably convinces a majority or the committee present and should, therefore, be disciplined. A committee member shall not vote if he or she was not present throughout the full hearing.
  8. Official report of findings and determination: The committee shall promptly consider the case, make its finding(s) and determination(s), and transmit them in writing to the dean of students or designee, accuser, and accused within three (3) class days of the hearing.
  9. Other procedural questions: Procedural questions not covered by these general rules which arise during the hearing shall be determined by the chairperson, whose ruling shall be final unless the chairperson presents the question to the committee at the request of a member of the committee, in which event the ruling of the committee by majority vote shall be final.
  10. General rule of decorum:
    1. All requests to address the committee shall be addressed to the chairperson, and the person shall identify himself or herself before speaking.
    2. The chairperson will rule on all requests and points of order, which ruling shall be final and all participants should abide thereby, unless the chairperson presents the question to the committee, in which event the ruling of the committee by majority vote shall be final.
    3. Rules of common courtesy and decency shall be observed at all times.
    4. A representative or legal counsel may request clarification of a procedural matter at any time by addressing the chairperson after recognition.